Bob Baffert choked back tears and his voice broken while attempting to handle the sensations of among his horses winning the Preakness Stakes and another being euthanized on the very same track.
“This business is twists and turns, the ups and downs,” he stated. “To win this — losing that horse today really hurt. … It’s been a very emotional day.”
National Treasure won the Preakness on Saturday in Baffert’s go back to the Triple Crown path following a suspension, however it came hours after another 3-year-old colt, Havnameltdown, was put down since of a left leg injury in an undercard race. The success ended Mage’s quote for the Triple Crown in a conflicting scene comparable to that of 2 weeks previously when he won the Kentucky Derby in the after-effects of 7 horses passing away in 10 days at Churchill Downs.
National Treasure, the 5-2 2nd option, held back hard-charging Blazing Sevens down the stretch to win the 1 3/16- mile, $1.65 million race by a head in 1: 55.12
“He fought the whole way,” jockey John Velazquez stated. “He put up a really good fight. … That’s what champions do.”
National Treasure paid $7.80 to win, $4 to position and $2.60 to reveal. Blazing Sevens paid $5 to position and $2.80 to reveal.
Mage ended up third after going off as the 7-5 preferred, paying $2.40 to reveal. His defeat, triggered by a speed much slower than the Derby, implies there will not be a Triple Crown winner for a 5th successive year.
“I followed every single step of the way, the winner,” Mage jockey Javier Castellano stated. “But those horses, with pace, no speed in the race, hard to catch.”
Much like Castellano won the Derby in his 16 th shot, Velazquez broke an 0-for-12 dry spell in the Preakness.
“It’s been a while,” Velazquez stated. “The success that I had in other races, not having won this one — it was definitely missing, so special to have it.”
Baffert had a rollercoaster day, back at Pimlico Race Course from a suspension that kept him from getting in a horse in the Preakness in 2015. The adventure of success by National Treasure in the Preakness and Arabian Lion in an earlier stakes race contrasted with the pain of Havnameltdown’s death.
Black barriers were propped up on the dirt track while the horse was put down. All the while, 2Pac’s “California Love” blasted from the infield speakers at what is meant as a yearly daylong event of pedigreed racing.
By night, Baffert was commemorated for winning the Preakness for a record 8th time, breaking a tie with 19 th-century fitness instructor R. WyndhamWalden In 2018, Baffert matched Walden with 7 wins at the Baltimore race with Justify, who went on to end up being the sport’s 13 th Triple Crown winner– and Baffert’s 2nd, after American Pharoah ended a prolonged dry spell for the sport in 2015.
This was Baffert’s initially Preakness in 2 years since of a restriction originating from 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s stopped working drug test that caused a disqualification because race. Medina Spirit was Baffert’s newest Preakness horse, ending up 3rd.
Baffert didn’t show up in Baltimore up until Thursday today, looking for to keep a lower profile than normal provided the concerns that have actually dogged him and clouded his credibility. A Hall of Famer and a long time face of horse racing, Baffert looked for to move previous his suspension when asked Friday.
“We just keep on moving forward,” he stated. “We have other horses to worry about. A lot of it is noise, so you keep the noise out and continue working.”
While horse racing deaths in the U.S. are at their most affordable level because they started being tracked in 2009, including another at the track hosting a Triple Crown race will just heighten the internal and external analysis of the market. Those inside it have actually stated they accept the truths of on-track deaths of horses while likewise acknowledging more work requires to be done to avoid as numerous as possible.
In that vein, brand-new nationwide medication and doping guidelines are set to enter into impact onMonday The federally mandated Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, which currently controlled racetrack security and other procedures, will supervise drug screening requirements for horses that must standardize the sport across the country for the very first time.